The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants revealed

SatBains_0077The Sunday Times has once again unveiled its ‘Food List’ – the definitive top 100 UK restaurants for food. This supplement, now in its sixth year, is published in association with Harden’s, and based on our annual survey of restaurant-goers.

For 2016 there’s been a serious shakeup, with last year’s top two – Marc Wilkinson’s Fraiche in Oxton (now at 22) and Légion d’Honneur winner Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons (now at 7) – making way for a new duo of dining destinations. The survey crowns Sat Bains’s eponymous Nottingham city-fringe restaurant-with-rooms (pictured), as the home of the UK’s best cooking. Improbably located on the edge of an industrial estate, and surrounded by pylons and fly-overs, the restaurant was once (memorably) described by the chef himself as ‘like finding a diamond in a piece of turd’. It seems our reporters agree, they declare it a culinary destination that “has to be on the bucket list!”; “an experience from start to finish”, delivering “out-of-this-world, quirky and offbeat” dishes, with “amazing flavours”.

The number two spot went to Daniel Clifford’s gloriously positioned Victorian riverside villa, Midsummer House, on the banks of the Cam. Despite a few quibbles about the daunting price tag, our reporters felt that, in terms of cuisine, Clifford had taken things to a whole new level this year – rocketing up the rankings from no.21 last year. “The level of detail is second-to-none” and the “spectacular and surprising food combinations” create “complex” and “exciting” dishes, delivered by “attentive but un-cloying” staff.

Rounding out the top three is, for the second year in a row, Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel – he may have branched out London with Fera at Claridge’s Hotel – but his original, rural ‘restaurant-with-rooms’ is still the spiritual home for his style of all-natural, local cuisine.

Notable newcomers to the top 10 include Casamia in Bristol, where the Sanchez-Iglesias brothers deliver a “thoughtful and exciting gastronomical experience” through “a procession of fabulous tasting plates”. And London’s new über-expensive, nine-seater, sushi specialist The Araki where the fish is “out of this universe”, and at £360+ per head, so are the prices.

Sadly one-half of the inspirational culinary team behind Casamia, Jonray Sanchez-Iglesias, passed away on 6 November after a four-year battle with Melanoma cancer. Read his family’s statement and obituary.


How the top 100 is compiled

The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants is based on Harden’s annual survey of restaurant-goers. This year over 6,750 ‘reporters’ (you, our readers) took part, which means you helped compile the definitive list of the best places to to eat in the country.

This is the sixth year that Harden’s has partnered with the Sunday Times to create the ‘Food List’. Its unique ranking system is based on exhaustive and carefully curated diner feedback from dedicated foodies who know their granita from their ganache (rather than just being an arbitrary list compiled by industry movers and shakers who have, quite often, never even been to the restaurant in question!).


How you can take part

Anyone who loves food and loves eating out can take part in the Harden’s annual survey, and help us compile the Sunday Times Top 100 list for next year. The results of our survey are also published in Harden’s Best UK Restaurants and Harden’s London Restaurants – our comprehensive guide books to dining in London and Britain. With over twice as many entries as the Good Food Guide, and more tips on where to find great cheap eats than Michelin, our UK guide is truly the restaurant-lovers’ bible.

And you can get a copy for FREE. Everyone who takes part in the Harden’s annual survey (launching again in February 2016) is entitled to a complimentary reporters’ edition of Harden’s Best UK Restaurants, usually priced at £15.99. All you have to do is fill out at least five reviews of restaurants you have visited in the last 12 months. Rate the eateries of your choice for Food, Service and Ambience from 1-5 (1=poor, 5=excellent) and feel free to leave some comments too. If you come up with a particularly eloquent phrase, pithy putdown or witty remark then you may find your comments included in the restaurant review “in inverted commas”.

Sign up to take part here. And happy dining!


The Sunday Times Top 100 UK Restaurants

The full list is below, with chapter and verse published in the Sunday Times.

1 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham
2 Midsummer House, Cambridge
3 Enclume, Cartmel
4 Casamia, Bristol
5 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
6 Gidleigh Park, Chagford
7 Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Great Milton
8 Ledbury, London
9 Araki, London
10 Harry’s Place, Great Gonerby
11 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Port Isaac
12 Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
13 One-O-One, Sheraton Park Tower, London
14 Story, London
15 Waterside Inn, Bray
16 Kitchen Table, London
17 Raby Hunt, Summerhouse
18 Gavroche, London
19 Marianne, London
20 Ortolan, Shinfield
21 Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale
22 Fraiche, Oxton
23 21212, Edinburgh
24 Hedone, London
25 Hambleton Hall, Hambleton
26 Peat Inn, Cupar
27 Winteringham Fields, Winteringham
28 Black Swan, Oldstead
29 Llangoed Hall, Llyswen
30 French Restaurant, Midland Hotel, Manchester
31 Fat Duck, Bray
32 Hibiscus, London
33 Clove Club, London
34 Kitchin, Edinburgh
35 Drakes, Ripley
36 Pied à Terre, London
37 Pass Restaurant, South Lodge Hotel, Horsham
38 Mr Underhill’s, Ludlow
39 Amberley Castle, Amberley
40 Texture, London
41 Three Chimneys, Dunvegan
42 Square, London
43 Five Fields, London
44 Fera at Claridge’s, Claridge’s Hotel, London
45 Dining Room, Whatley Manor, Easton Grey
46 Rasoi, London
47 Yashin, London
48 Harrow at Little Bedwyn, Marlborough
49 Bohemia, The Club Hotel & Spa, Jersey
50 Boat House, Bangor
51 André Garrett At Cliveden, Cliveden House, Taplow
52 Fischers at Baslow Hall, Baslow
53 Pétrus, London
54 Purnells, Birmingham
55 Greenhouse, London
56 Box Tree, Ilkley
57 Gordon Ramsay, London
58 Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel, Bagshot
59 Ametsa with Arzak Instruction, Halkin Hotel, London
60 Neptune, Old Hunstanton
61 Roux at Parliament Square, RICS, London
62 Typing Room, Town Hall Hotel, London
63 Northcote, Langho
64 Stovell’s, Chobham
65 Menu Gordon Jones, Bath
66 Simon Radley, The Chester Grosvenor, Chester
67 Sushi Tetsu, London
68 Koffmann’s, The Berkeley, London
69 Hakkasan, London
70 Cotto, Cambridge
71 Sketch Lecture Room, London
72 Summer Lodge, Evershot
73 Artichoke, Amersham
74 River Café, London
75 Applecross Inn, Applecross
76 Zuma, London
77 Hunan, London
78 James Martin, Manchester
79 Roger Hickman’s, Norwich
80 Yauatcha, London
81 HKK, London
82 Chez Bruce, London
83 Dinner, Mandarin Oriental, London
84 Kai Mayfair, London
85 Roka, London
86 Great House, Lavenham
87 Seven Park Place, London
88 Amaya, London
89 Wiltons, London
90 Adam’s , Birmingham
91 Atelier de Joel Robuchon, London
92 Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter
93 Verveine Fishmarket Restaurant, Milford-on-Sea
94 Dinings, London
95 Walnut Tree, Llandewi Skirrid
96 Wedgwood, Edinburgh
97 Lickfold Inn, Lickfold
98 Marcus, The Berkeley, London
99 Bentley’s, London
100 Benares, London

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